Part 2: Carl Kruger, Beastie Boys, and the War on Brunch

War on brunch: W’burg group fights to stop Sunday morning sidewalk dining
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Here’s the second section of our four-part recap of 2012:


Where?: The Kensington Post Office accidentally called the borough “Frooklny” on thousands of package pick-up slips in a Dr. Seussian gaffe that made even the savviest Brooklynites wonder if another made-up neighborhood name had reached the mainstream.

Food fight: The simmering war between a food vendor and Bay Ridge’s brick-and-mortar businesses boiled over when merchants set up tables at two prime pieces of sidewalk real estate often used by the popular gyro seller Sammy Kassen — briefly forcing the mobile meal man to find a new spot.

Field house horrors: Parks Department officials revealed that no work had been done on Marine Park’s planned Carmine Carro Field House for more than five months after the city defaulted on back pay owed to contractors on the long-delayed field house, which has seen its budget soar from $5 million to $16 million over eight years of construction.

Free ride: Cycling philanthropist Joshua Rechnitz shocked the two-wheeled world when he donated a whopping $40 million to build a velodrome for track biking and an athletic center in Brooklyn Bridge Park.


Broken Fidler: A recount gave Republican rookie David Storobin a narrow lead over Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park) in the remarkably close race to replace disgraced ex-state Sen. Carl Kruger. It would take more than two weeks for Fidler to concede victory to the GOP underdog, but Storobin wouldn’t hold onto office for long — former Councilman Simcha Felder crushed him in a race for a newly drawn “super Jewish district” in November.

Rest in peace: Beloved rapper and Brooklyn Heights native Adam Yauch passed away in May — and a group of neighborhood hip hop aficionados promised no sleep till Squibb Park is renamed to honor the legendary Beastie Boy.

Secret parking ring: A doorman at a fancy Park Slope building spilled the beans on a parking space-saving conspiracy in which concierges save spots for paying tenants by intentionally parking badly — then moving rides to fit more residents of their buildings.

Up in smoke: Mayor Bloomberg announced that the Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO will become the new home to the neighborhood’s famed St. Ann’s Warehouse theater.


Peace treaty: Politicians intervened in an attempt to end the so-called “War on Brunch” — a ticket blitz against restaurants that violated an obscure provision barring them from serving food to sidewalk diners before noon on Sundays. It has been all quiet on the Western omelet front since then.

Carl marked: A judge sentenced shamed ex-state Sen. Carl Kruger to seven years in a New Jersey federal prison for selling nearly $1 million of political favors during his time in office — but his accomplice and alleged lover got shipped to a different correctional facility despite their requests to serve in the same big house.